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by Gail Helmer

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Jane's News Briefs

Friday, January 11, 2002

Jane's Defence Weekly
Force deployments boost Kashmir tension The military deployment by India and Pakistan, the largest since the 1971 war, is greatest along the Line of Control (LOC) that divides the disputed Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.

Recce force prepares for ISAF deployment
Following the initialling of a Military-Technical Agreement (MTA) by commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) British Army Maj Gen John McColl and the interim government in Afghanistan on 31 December, an ISAF reconnaissance unit is working in Kabul to prepare the deployment of the multi-national peacekeeping force.

Governments and industry co-operate on future combat air systems
Six European nations announced on 19 November that they would be working together on advanced technologies that will develop Europe's capabilities for combat air systems.

Artillery fire control - more control, less fire?
Speed of response is becoming a critical issue for fire-support organizations. Old methods may not be logistically or tactically tenable, but new weapon capabilities and technologies have multiplied the co-ordination requirements, writes Rupert Pengelley.

Active arrays come of age
Active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology for fighter aircraft has arrived, according to the US Defense Science Board (DSB). A new DSB report confirms industry claims of massive reductions in the weight and cost of AESA radars, and credits them with a substantial increase in capability over mechanically scanned systems.

STN Atlas Elektronik
STN Atlas Elektronik is arguably the most important industrial partner to the German Submarine Consortium because it has been and firmly is the standard supplier of integrated sonar systems, command and weapon-control systems, team training simulators and torpedoes for German-designed submarines.

Evolved SeaSparrow tested with live warhead
The first test firing at sea of the Evolved SeaSparrow missile (ESSM) was successfully conducted on 29 November 2001. This was the first firing with a live warhead - a configuration which cannot be used at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, where earlier trials were carried out - and the missile homed onto the target and destroyed it.

Exercise prompts UK Challenger 2 upgrades
Following its recent experience during the Anglo-Omani Exercise 'Saif Sareea II' in Oman, the British Army is considering improvements to the global deployment capability of its Vickers Defence Systems Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT) fleet, after incurring an unsustainable consumption of disposable engine air filters.

Man-portable lasers explored for US future force
The US Army is studying the feasibility of fielding solid-state, directed-energy man-portable air- defence systems to phase out its shoulder-fired FIM-92 Stinger missiles as part of the air-defence architecture of its Objective Force, according to senior army officials.

Multirole netted fires
While the US Army's Field Artillery branch continues to wrestle with the effects of digitisation on its legacy computing systems and command hierarchy, its Future Combat Systems (FCS) program has engendered a radical and ambitious rethink of the totality of battlefield fire support and its control.

RAF Nimrod MRA.4 'powers-up' for ground tests
The remodelling of 21 of the UK Royal Air Force's Nimrod MR.2 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to Nimrod MRA.4 standard has taken another step forward with the official 'power-on' for ground tests of the first production aircraft.

Boeing nears deal with IAI to produce Arrow components
Boeing of the USA is in the final stages of negotiating an agreement with Israel's state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) for it to produce missile components for Israel's Arrow theatre ballistic missile defence system, according to informed sources.

Lockheed urges Netherlands Level 2 partnership in JSF
Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) prime contractor Lockheed Martin has urged the Netherlands government to join the JSF programme as a Level Two partner.

[Jane's Defence Weekly - 9 January 2002] USAF seeks hidden time-critical targets
Four technical directorates within the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have formed a partnership to pursue the Targets Under Trees (TUT) program sponsored by the Aerospace Command & Control and Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Center (AC2ISRC) within the US Air Force's Air Combat Command.

How LO can you go?
Low-observable and stealth aircraft have come a long way since Lockheed's Have Blue program, but they still have room for improvement, writes Bill Sweetman

Black Hawk modernisation programme begins
The first three US Army Black Hawks arrived at the Sikorsky Support Services Inc (SSSI) at Troy, Alabama, for teardown and evaluation. The two UH-60As and one UH-60L, marked the first three aircraft inducted in the army's MH-60M Black Hawk modernisation programme, which will eventually involve some 1,200 aircraft over 25 years, and extend their service life by another 20 years. In addition, the UH-60M will replace the UH-60L in new production from 2007.

Boeing wins Egyptian contract
The US Department of Defense said that Boeing had won a $241.9m contract from the Egyptian Government, to provide 35 Egyptian Air Force AH-64D Apache helicopters with fire control radar/radio frequency interferometers. Work will be undertaken at Mesa, Arizona, with completion slated for 31 August 2006.

US Navy poised to axe missile programmes
The US Navy is poised to cancel two of its medium-range fire-support programmes in yet another change to the service's fire-support plans, according to navy and industry officials.

USN ups tempo for anti-terrorist force protection
The US Navy (USN) has instigated an overhaul of its anti-terrorist/force protection (AT/FP) measures in the wake of the attack on the destroyer USS Cole and the terrorist actions of 11 September 2001.

Germany's major minesweeper upgrade now complete
With delivery (in November 2001) of the Siegburg, the last of the five minesweepers to be converted to Ensdorf-class (Type HL 352) configuration, the German Navy's major programme to upgrade 10 minewarfare vessels is complete.

Germany's submarines combine export success with propulsion progress
Germany's submarine industry has been able to achieve a remarkable sales record in the export market while at the same time introducing innovative air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology.

Finland's Coastguard
Controlled by the Ministry of Interior, Finland's Frontier Guard (the Rajavartiolaitos) covers Coastguard and land border-guard functions. Reporting to the minister and the Frontier Guard's commander-in-chief, the department is headed by Rear Adm Jaakko Smolander. The Coastguard element comprises 1,000 personnel and 28 stations (from a total of 3,100 and 65 respectively), controlling 72 vessels and 14 aircraft. These are assigned to three districts - the Gulf of Finland, the Archipelago and the Gulf of Bothnia - the latter region has no naval support.

Finland's Coastal Defence Forces
Detached since 1952, Finland's coastal infantry, 'Jaeger' and artillery units were reintegrated into the navy in 1998. Missions have evolved from static defence to rapid reaction, and this has led to a range of procurement programmes.

Sleepers: the enemy within
Although this week's warnings by the Pakistan-based British Islamic militant Hassan Butt that foreign-born Taliban supporters will return from Afghanistan to "strike at the heart" of Britain and the USA have been largely dismissed by UK government officials and mainstream Muslim leaders as "fantasy", there are reasons to believe that the collapse of the Taliban regime - and the escape of many of its supporters to neighbouring Pakistan - will lead to the expansion of extremist activities on new fronts. JID investigates the threat.

India and Pakistan square up over Kashmir
A reluctant Pakistan is being forced by the United States to act against Muslim insurgent groups operating in northern India's disputed Jammu and Kashmir state in order to avoid war between the two nuclear rivals, following the 13 December suicide attack on New Delhi's parliament for which it holds Islamabad responsible. And though Pakistan has arrested the leaders of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM or 'Army of Muhammad') and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT or 'Army of the Pure') guerrilla groups whom Delhi blames for the attack, the larger issue of dealing with Islamabad-backed terrorist outfits continues to bedevil Washington, impinging precariously as it does on American security and diplomatic interests.

Washington terror list worries Lebanon
Washington is putting the squeeze on Lebanon in President George Bush's 'war against terrorism' and has threatened to impose economic sanctions after Beirut rejected demands it freeze the assets of Hizbullah and disarm the movement which is fighting Israeli forces on the country's southern border.

Divorcing political and military structures
When Britain's foreign minister, Jack Straw, in an interview with the London-based Arab daily Al-Hayat, spoke of drawing a distinction between the 'political departments' and the 'military wings' of extremist groups such as Hamas, Hizbullah, and Islamic Jihad, he drew an annoyed reaction from Israeli intelligence personnel.

CIS to work together on counterterrorism
An anti-terrorism centre, headed by Boris Mylnikov, was established in Bishket (Kyrgyzstan) in September as part of a push for improved co-operation between the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

East Asia in 2002
IT HAS been a tough year for East Asia. The global economic downturn has not left a country untouched, whatever the official figures say. The regional powers, with their own headaches, have not helped. Take China, Japan and Indonesia. All have difficulties over leadership and seem incapable of achieving long awaited improvements to the economy. Their neighbours are uneasy.

[Jane's Foreign Report - 10 January 2002] Eastern Europe's bonanza...
This year will see asset sales at record levels in Eastern Europe. Investment bank JP Morgan believes receipts from privatisation could top US$12 billion in the Central European region - mainly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. This figure is more than twice what was raised in 2001. With an eye on raising as much money for the central budget as possible, governments will be looking to sell everything from banks to gas and electricity companies to telephone companies (as in Poland, where a further 15% of telecoms monopoly TPSA is to be sold). Priority will likely be given to sales to strategic investors although some of the stock will also be put on domestic stock markets.

...and its failures
Something has gone badly wrong. Democracy in Eastern Europe may only be little more than 10 years old, but already voter apathy is setting in. Allegations of high-level corruption and wretchedly low living standards have led some people to conclude that politics is irrelevant, while many more have abandoned middle-of-the-road parties in favour of populists.

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